Rams taking passing route to wins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 29, 1999

EDGARD – “Welcome to West St. John Airlines. Your pilot for today will beCarl Gauthier. Please enjoy your flight.”West St. John, ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A poll, is finding success throughthe air this season. The Rams are off to a 4-0 start, their best since 1993,and opened District 9-2A play with a 36-0 victory over Ridgewood last Friday.

In that game, Gauthier enjoyed one of the best passing performances by a Rams quarterback, completing 22-of-33 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Donriel Louis, Jeremy Lumar and Marlon Jackson were all onthe receving end of scoring strikes. For the season, Gauthier hascompleted 58-of-89 passes for 769 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also hasthe Rams’ only touchdown on the ground this season.

“We knew we would be better in that area this year,” West St. John coachLaury Dupont said. “We are doing more passing than running and we havemore confidence in it.”The Rams rolled up 480 yards in total offense in 75 plays, the most plays in the Dupont era. The ball-control offense helped the defense pitch itsfirst shutout of the season. It was also the second time in a row that thefirst team defense had held the opponent scoreless.

Friday’s game was also the second straight game that the Rams have not turned the ball over after committing 13 turnovers the first two games.

“Last week and this week, we have been able to eliminate turnovers,” Dupont said. “I told the players that there was no telling what we could doif we don’t put the ball on the ground.”West St. John will look to hold onto the ball as it faces Newman in a keydistrict battle Friday night. The Greenies forced two big turnovers in their20-19 victory over St. Charles Catholic Friday night, ending Comet drivesdeep into Newman territory.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at West St. John Stadium.Newman (3-1) is playing its first district game of the season after defeating Archbishop Hannan, St. Bernard and St. Charles Catholic andlosing at Jewel Sumner. The Greenies have averaged nearly 30 points agame through the first four contests.

Leading the way on offense is quarterback David de Laureal. The senior,who has stepped in to fill the hole left by Eli Manning, has completed 36 of his 69 passes for 546 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Wil Walter hasbeen his favorite target, catching over 300 yards of passes this season and scoring six touchdowns. On the ground, Dwayne Jones has carried 46times for 331 yards. The defense is led by seniors Michael Hecker andScott Stewart at linebacker.

“Newman is an excellent football team,” Dupont said. “They have greatsize and have a little scat back (Jones) that can run really well. They likegoing to Walter who is a pretty good athlete. On defense, they are big. Theyhave good size offensively and defensively. It’s going to be an excitingcontest.”It was an exciting contest the last time the two teams met. The Ramsdefeated the Greenies in the 1997 state semifinals in a driving rainstorm at Lupin Stadium.

West St. John travels to Buras next week in district play.

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